Monday, February 28, 2011

Mmmmm...Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Happy Monday...Hope everyone's week is off to a good start.  If not, I have something that will make it turn around in a hurry.   How do chocolate chip cookie bars sound?

I love to bake, but there are also plenty of times where I just want to eat something yummy without having to spend a lot of time making it.  How many times have you made cookies but lost interest after the first batch came out of the oven?  If you can relate to feeling that way, then this recipe is for you!

Here is what you need:

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.  Cream together butter and sugars.  Add eggs one at a time and then add vanilla.  Stir in dry ingredients.  Stir  in chocolate chips.  Spread mixture in a 9"x13" pan (I sprayed mine with Pam).  Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.

I'll be honest, even eating them like this would be pretty good with me:

But trust me, its even better like this:

Do you SEE all that caramelized wonderfulness in there?!?! 

How about here?

These are so easy.  The best thing about these bars are the caramelized edges!  And the fact that they're easy. So yummy.  I have been making these for years and they are always loved. 

I hope you love them too!

I'm linking this recipe up to these parties:


Friday, February 25, 2011

Spray Painting Doorknobs.. (big) *SIGH*

Happy Friday!!

What a busy week!  Unfortunately it was a week busy with nonhome projects for me.  Even though I love it, I don't normally work very often outside of the home, but this week was a little different and that meant I didn't get a whole lot done here.  We're almost finished with the bathroom.  We're putting up some crown molding this weekend and I have one panel to poly for the vanity and one wall to finish decorating and then its D.O.N.E.!  So far, I love it!

Since I don't have anything I am currently working on, I thought I'd show you some doorknobs I spray painted last year.  When we moved into our home 2 1/2 years ago, we had shiny brass doorknobs on all the doors.  Since it would be quite expensive to replace them all and we had a ginormous list of other things to spend our money on (who doesn't, right?), I wanted to try to spray paint them. 

So, here they are before:

And here they are after, in ORB:

Lovely, isn't it?

To do it, I sanded the old finish very thoroughly, sprayed primer on them and then used Rustoleum's ORB.  Finally, I sprayed a clear coat on them and waited a day before reinstalling them.  The whole process was very easy.

Here is where the big *sigh* comes in....a year later, they have not held up well.  :(

 Honestly, they still look better now than before (for the most part), but they are not holding up to the wear and tear at all.   The smaller knobs on our closet doors where we just use the tips of our fingers to open them are doing ok, but the larger lever doorknobs where we use our whole hand to open them are not. 

Looking back, I probably didn't let the knobs cure long enough before we put them back on.  Also, I used a primer, but not a primer specifically for metal.  Finally, I was probably too heavy handed (although I did do it without any drips anywhere) with the spray paint.  I'm disappointed, but I think I am just going to cut out a backdrop for the knobs and just keep a can of paint on hand to do touchups every so often, with them right there on the door.  I still need to do my upstairs, so I am curious if I see any difference when I correct some of my errors from the first go around.  Truly though, I have a feeling I am going to be replacing these babies with the real thing one by one sometime in the future.  Maybe (or probably more than likely) I won't even attempt to to spray the upstairs knobs.  We'll see when the time comes.  From a little googling and talking to other people, it  sounds like my experience isn't an isolated thing, unfortunately.

How about you?  Have you tried spray painting your doorknobs?  How have they help up?  I'd love to hear about your experience...or if you have a favorite uncle who works in the doorknob industry and is looking for a poor soul to take pity on by donating, say 17 sets, not including closets to, I'd love to hear from you as well!...What?  A girl can dream, can't she?

Have a fabulous weekend!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Laundry Room Light

I am anxious to start the laundry room.  I went to my local  Habitat Restore and found this:

Not the handsome little boy showing off how "strong" he is, of course.  This soon to be beauty:

It doesn't look like much, but it reminds me of this from Pottery Barn:

I have seen this brassy girl's cousins transformed several times recently.  Some of my favorites are:

320 Sycamore:
You have to go  Melissa's blog to see what this light started out as.  She even shows you how she did it.  Can you believe she only paid $5 for this?  This light is just one reason of many that I love Melissa's blog.  It was one of the first  blogs I started following when I started reading blogs a year ago.

beneath my heart:
Not only does Traci have this gorgeous light in her laundry room, but she also has a beadboard ceiling and board and batten wainscoting on her walls, just like I plan to do!  My jaw about hit the floor when I saw it.  I'm embarrassed to say I never knew about Traci's blog until one day when I googled "board and batten laundry room" and then there she was.  She only paid $3 for her light at the Habitat store and gives you a tutorial  here.

A Vintage Vine:
Lisa at A Vintage Vine only paid $4.99 for her light at her local thrift store.  She gave hers a makeover with some ORB spray paint and it looks so nice in her new kitchen.  If you haven't seen Lisa's kitchen makeover yet, you should check it out.  Not only is the kitchen to die for, but Lisa is also a super nice person and one of my favorite blogging friends.

 I can't wait to give mine a makeover!  I paid $20 for my light (why can't my local stores have these awesome prices I always hear about) at Habitat, but that's ok.  Habitat for Humanity does a lot of great things. 

I am still laughing at the funny dream I had the night before I bought my light.  I knew I was going to go to the Habitat Restore in the morning as soon as I dropped my oldest son off at preschool and I was really hoping to have some luck.  So, of course, I had to dream about my shopping trip.  In my dream, I walked into the store and found that they had decided to spray paint all their brass lights in ORB  in an effort to make them more appealing to customers.  I was so MAD!!  In my dream, I yelled at the guy working and said, "What are you doing?!  They're ALL going to find out about this and there won't be any lights left anymore!"  As in, I am going to have competition when I shop there from now on!!  I guess I was a little paranoid about finding something that night, don't you think? 

Hope you all have a wonderful Monday!! 

Friday, February 18, 2011

It's Up and I Love It!!

It's up!

The beadboard is up and I love it.  I am so glad I got over my cold feet and went forward with it.   Thanks for the little nudge.  Now I'm wondering how I could have ever had doubted whether or not to do it.  What was I thinking?

I'm not going to keep you waiting by rambling on! 


And after!

What a difference it makes!!  The room feels so clean now...and finished, even if it isn't quite finished yet, if that makes sense. 

One thing I learned from doing beadboard, you know, all of one time, is that in order for it to look nice and professionally done is to caulk, caulk, caulk!  I had gaps like this along the bottom:

and I was afraid that I was going to make a mess at all the grooves.  It really wasn't an issue though.  I just applied it like normal (this pic looks really messy):
and as you can see it did creep up a bit into the grooves of the beadboard.  So then, I just used a very slightly damp sponge brush and used that to remove it some and then push and feather  the rest into place:
(Excuse the poor pics.  Its was dark and I was tired!)
I also sanded in between coats to keep everything smooth.  I was quite surprised at what a time suck painting beadboard is!  Not hard, but so tedious because of all the grooves and upper and lower molding!  Painting white on white didn't help much either.  It was worth it though!

I am hoping to wrap things up in here this weekend.  We still have to put this counter in:

Oh, and a toilet, I guess.  That hole in the floor doesn't cut it for me.  We also plan on installing crown molding.  I also have some wood blinds waiting to be installed so we can have some privacy again in here.  All the outlets are being switched to white as well.  Finally, I need to figure out what I want on that empty wall.  Any ideas?  I have been searching and searching and haven't found anything that really jumps out at me.

Are you sick of hearing about my Target trips yet?  I just have one more.  I found these bins, measuring 12"x18"x18"  at my store for $3.74!!  They're so nice and big!

They also had some narrower ones for $3.24.  We had a pretty chaotic morning here Thursday and I needed some order, so I cleared Target out and bought 11 of them!  They're in the kids' playroom and in their bedrooms now.  I haven't completely organized them all yet, but already, I feel better! Ahhh!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!  You know what I'll be working on.  How about you?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Thinking Ahead...The Laundry Room...(and a deal to share)

I know, I know...I still haven't finished the bathroom, so why am I already moving on, mentally at least, to the next project?  Isn't that what most of do though?  Always planning our next project, our next THREE projects even?  So that is where I am.  I am moving on, people!  Right now, I am trying to figure out my plan of attack on my laundry room, then my master bedroom and then my stairs and upstairs and downstairs halls.  Oh, and let's not forget that I have a 2 1/2 year old that is going to need a big boy room sooner rather than later.  *sigh*

Look at me, I am already moving past the laundry room...  I need to back up!

Here she is in all her sponge painted glory:

Excuse the mess.  I don't usually store a toilet brush on the counter and have hats and painting supplies strewn all over, but this what it looks like when I have a project going on, like the bathroom and we get a lot of snow.  Supplies and boots and snowpants all over!  With a toilet brush thrown in there for good measure. 

Yes, that's a slipper on my door handle.  I spray painted them a while ago, but we don't have a door stop in this room and I didn't want it to get banged up from everyone flinging the door open all the time.  Hence, its "protected" with a slipper.
Ceiling, I have plans for you and your not so pretty light.
And I hear some  paint calling your name, cabinets!
And a close up of the walls, in case you didn't get enough of them already:

Yes, I have lived with this sponge painting for over two years and yes, I have a few more rooms exactly like this in my house.  Ugh.  I am embarrassed by my laziness or complacency...or whatever you want to call it.  Whatever it is though, it doesn't matter because its all going soon!  Woot!

I'll post again soon with my exact plans for the room, but for now, let me share some of my favorite laundry spaces.  Most have at least one element that I hope to incorporate into mine!  Can you guess which elements?  Or suggest which elements even? ;)


 Rabaut Design found via Never Without

Source unknown.  Found via Gimmie Moore

scanned picture via design*dump

scanned picture via design*dump

Finally, here is a great deal on photos if you are looking to get some pics printed .
Snapfish has a great offer going on right now.  Get 100 4x6 prints for just $5 and free shipping!  This offer is good through 2/20/11.  Just use code CUPIDPICS when you checkout.
Also, if you are new to Snapfish, you can get 50 free prints plus a free photo gift when you register!  Not too bad!

Happy Hump Day!!